Stephen O’Donnell was a man in-demand in the January transfer window, just a few months after signing for Motherwell on a short-term deal.
But on the February 1 deadline, O’Donnell was revealed to have penned a fresh contract at Fir Park until the end of the season, with the club hopeful that they’ll be able to keep the 28-year-old more long-term beyond that.
That will no doubt rest on where Motherwell finish in the Scottish Premiership this season, and survival is a must as O’Donnell will not be playing second tier football in Scotland next season if he wants to carry on being an international.
It looks like O’Donnell will hold out on that front, and if he continues his good performances for the rest of the season then not only can he help the Well stay in the division, but he could make himself a big target for other English clubs in the summer.
But a mid-season move wasn’t for him even though there were indeed offers on the table for his services.
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“There were a couple of other offers, certainly at the start of the window,” O’Donnell said, per the Daily Record.
“I was able to go, but I was very content, I didn’t need to go, and if it wasn’t right for me or my family I wasn’t going to go, so that’s where it ended.
“I’m just trying to make decisions that are best for myself and my family and just now I’m thoroughly enjoying my time at Motherwell.
“If it wasn’t right for me or my family I wasn’t going to go, so that’s where it ended.”
Celtic ended up going for Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny in the end as Jeremie Frimpong’s replacement, but Stoke could have perhaps done with strengthening their right-back department in the transfer window just gone.
Tommy Smith is Stoke’s first-choice wing-back option but Michael O’Neill has often used centre-back Nathan Collins on the right-hand side of a back four, so it does indicate that Stoke may have been one of the teams who showed a serious interest having needed some depth.
But it looks like O’Donnell may have made a wise decision. A strong second half to the season may put him in the shop window this summer, and with the European Championships also happening he could get a bigger move than he could ever imagine if he gets to showcase his stuff on that stage.